Quite simply, voters need to be choosing their legislators; legislators should not be choosing their voters. Democracy demands no less. The Congressional Districts Pennsylvania Legislators created in 2011 have been an embarrassment to the state. Until the PA Supreme Court's recent decision, many residents of the 160th district were in the 7th Congressional District, nicknamed "Goofy kicking Donald Duck." The Washington Post called this district one of the most gerrymandered anywhere in the county. More importantly, districts like this disenfranchise voters, making it unlikely that their vote will help to sway an election. The good news is that--for now--the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has created fair congressional districts.
At the state level, the state constitution specifies that "Unless absolutely necessary no county, city, incorporated town, borough, township or ward shall be divided in forming either a senatorial or representative district." Yet, in the 160th District, Upper Chichester township is split and the 160th itself is split between 2 counties.
I support the efforts of Fair Districts PA to create an independent citizens' redistricting commission to handle the redistricting process. Quite simply, legislators cannot be trusted to create the districts. Unfortunately, Republicans in the PA State House gutted HB722, replacing the independent commission with one made up of legislators.
This has to change. I will fight for and support amending the Pennsylvania State Constitution to have an independent citizens' commission in control of the redistricting process.